Slack hires Goldman Sachs as it eyes IPO next year
Slack, the workplace messaging app, has hired Goldman Sachs to underwrite an initial public offering planned for next year, according to two people familiar with the situation. The San Francisco company is one of several highly valued start-ups, along with Uber and Lyft, that are expected to list on public markets in 2019 after spending years raising money from deep-pocketed private investors. Lyft filed confidential paperwork for its own IPO with the US Securities and Exchange Commission this week. Slack and Goldman declined to comment. The appointment of the investment bank was first reported by Reuters. Slack was valued at $7.1bn in its latest fundraising in August. It has raised almost $1.3bn in total from private investors including SoftBank’s Vision Fund, Dragoneer Investment Group and General Atlantic, making it one of the best-financed business software start-ups. The company was co-founded in 2014 by Stewart Butterfield, who previously co-founded the photo site Flickr and sold it to Yahoo in 2004, and Cal Henderson, who was a senior leader at Flickr. It aims to replace email at companies with an app that integrates software ranging from chat to cloud storage to collaborative spreadsheets. It has more than 8m daily active users, many of whom use its basic free offering, and more than 3m paying users at customers including IBM, eBay and the Financial Times.
Slack has not disclosed recent revenue figures but the company said in August last year it had hit annual recurring revenue of $200m and was growing at 100 per cent a year. Many of Silicon Valley’s “unicorns” have put off going public for much longer than previous generations of technology start-ups, thanks to appetite from venture capitalists, private equity firms and sovereign wealth funds. Companies are now eyeing flotations, due in part to interest from investors and employees in cashing in their shares. But the spate of anticipated 2019 IPOs may come at a testing time, amid heightened stock market volatility, the US-China trade war and concerns about the global growth outlook that risk curbing investor appetite.
Industry: Unified communication news
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